West Seattle, Washington
3:05 PM: Almost 24 hours to the moment after the 3-alarm Lam Bow Apartments fire broke out in Delridge, more than a dozen people from the Seattle Police and Fire Departments and Seattle Housing Authority stood behind Mayor Ed Murray, Fire Chief Harold Scoggins, and Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole at City Hall, as they announced honors for heroes.
“These public servants saved a lot of lives,” said the mayor. At the top of the story is our phone video of what he and the chiefs said; we have more to add, including photos, names, and our conversation afterward with SHA’s Thaddeus Perry, who was working on a project in the main office when a tenant came running in yelling, “Fire, fire, fire” – he rushed into the building to get people out.
4:23 PM: Here’s SHA employee Perry, at center:
He told us he just started working for SHA in the West Seattle area – assigned to several buildings/complexes including Lam Bow – as of about two weeks ago. After he ran into the building and discovered a “barrage” of smoke on the 3rd floor, he was soon joined by SPD Sgt. Britt and they went up and down the hallway, “banging on doors,” to tell people to get out. They all did, and as SFD said yesterday, everyone escaped without injury.
4:55 PM: Here are the names of the SPD personnel who were honored:
Sgt. Jim Britt
Officer Aaron Briggs
Officer Nick Meyst
Officer Garth Lindelef
Officer Nick Burk
Officer German Barreto
Officer Sandro Fleming
Officer Ryan Levens
Officer Jack Johns
By Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
The organizers of Hate Free Delridge ran out of name tags after 200 were handed out, and the people kept coming for the group’s first big event Saturday at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
They all came out to stand up against hate, meet new neighbors, make new friends, and share food, music, and art together.
Hate Free Delridge is a grass-roots organization that evolved as a result of July’s hate crime targeting a Pigeon Point family with mixed-race children. Saturday’s crowd was diverse not only in ethnicities but also geographically – while HFD organizers are primarily from Puget Ridge and Pigeon Point, people showed up from other West Seattle neighborhoods too.
Erica Moore lives in The Admiral District, where she saw a flyer for the event at Alki Bike and Board, owned by Stu Hennessey, one of the founders of Hate Free Delridge. Moore, who is African-American, said she has dealt with discrimination herself, but she has learned to handle it with goodness and grace. She echoed Pavan Vangipuram’s opening words that the way to fight fire is with water.
Vangipuram, who is with OneAmerica, and is also a founder of Hate Free Delridge, opened the program with a recap of what led to HFD’s formation.
He encouraged everyone to talk to someone they don’t know during the evening. Hennessey was the MC of the program, keeping things moving along. He had everyone stand up and meet someone they’ve never met in their life, which worked so well that the conversations around the room drowned him out.
Martha Ortiz, of Mexican heritage, said she was at the event to support the Black Lives Matter movement and all oppressed people. Her daughter Rebecca Garcia was also there with her children. “I have two kids, too,” Garcia said. “It could have been my family – they’re mixed.” Her daughter Laura Garcia, 11, was busy making balloon animals for anyone who wanted one:
The entire family lives in the Puget Ridge neighborhood. With them was Sandra Aguilar, originally from Mexico, now residing in Yakima. Aguilar has been in the U.S. for 20 years.
“In Yakima, we’re addressing these issues, too, about privilege and hate,” she said. “I’m faced with the fact of more separation of cultures in Yakima, but there are a lot of people working to change that.” She came to support the group, and to perform with Garcia. Together, they are a musical group called Once Minutos (11 minutes), performing in Seattle, Wenatchee and Yakima.
Reba Schneider, who lives near Westwood Village, grew up in the Leschi area, which she described as having been in transition at the time, from being a mostly Jewish community to an African-American neighborhood. She said that laid the groundwork for her interest in and value of diversity. Her great-grandparents had lived in West Seattle, so that was what drew her to this area later.
Attendees dined on an absolutely incredible free dinner of homemade tapas, followed by dessert. Most of the food was donated, and then prepared by a small army of volunteer kitchen wizards.
The music flowed:
Also, children had their faces painted, and everyone had the chance to sign a large banner or write a Haiku poem based on the theme “My Stand Against Hate.”
Among those penning poems, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold:
Who knew that a nasty note could lead to all of this community goodness? Next up for Hate Free Delridge will be a vigil to stand up against hate, 6 pm October 15th at Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza.
Two months after a racist, threatening note left for a Pigeon Point family shocked our area … seven weeks after some of that family’s neighbors joined forces to decide how to make a statement against hate … the resulting group‘s first community event is hours away, and this is a reminder that you are invited! We’ve been reporting on the plan for the first Hate-Free Delridge community gathering, and tomorrow – Saturday, September 24th – is the day. Doors open at 4 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW), free dinner served at 5, music and activities promised for all ages until 8 pm, with the chance for you to “share your ideas for standing against hate.” HFD also has already announced its next event, an October 15th vigil.
Helping hands are busy right now at the West Seattle Food Bank and dozens of other locations around King County as part of the United Way-organized Day of Caring. At WSFB, 30 volunteers from Darigold – many of whom live in West Seattle – are painting the warehouse right now.
Countywide, Day of Caring volunteers number more than 1,300, according to UWKC.
(Any others at work elsewhere in WS? We’d love to at least add a mention – firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!)
With three days to go until the “party with a purpose” that officially kicks off the work of Hate-Free Delridge – born from community concern following the hate crime targeting a Pigeon Point family – the group has another announcement: A vigil next month. From Stu Hennessey on behalf of HFD:
Hate-Free Delridge is calling for a “Stand Against Hate/Candlelight Vigil” on October 15th at 6 pm. The vigil will take place at the Alki Statue of Liberty (Alki Ave. SW and 61st Ave. SW).
This is an opportunity for those who feel our local and national dynamics have drifted toward a pattern of hate as a rationalization for actions by government or citizens. Most do not feel they have a voice to reject that premise.
If you missed the earlier announcements about this Saturday’s event, it’s at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW), doors open at 4, free dinner at 5, gathering continues until 8 pm, all welcome.
Only six percent of Girl Scouts ever earn a Gold Award, the highest achievement level in the organization, created 100 years ago by GS founder Juliette Gordon Low to “challenge girls to change their communities – and the world – in a way that has a sustainable impact,” according to Girl Scouts of Western Washington, which tells us a West Seattle Girl Scout is now a Gold Award recipient:
Erin Demaree from Troop 50253 in Seattle developed a water runoff system on a hillside that stops water and dirt from washing into the public shelter at Lincoln Park. The hill had naturally grown over, but people had walked a path along the hill that caused water to run directly into the shelter deeming it unusable when it rained. She recruited a group of local volunteers to accomplish the construction of the system while also educating them on environmental impacts and erosion issues. Erin’s runoff system now allows the shelter to be used during the rainy season as a proper shelter.
She says, “Completing my Gold Award has helped me in my leadership and critical thinking skills. I really wanted to help the community and because I knew that this park gets used a lot, I wanted to give back by supporting it.”
Research has shown that Girl Scout Gold Award recipients do well in life! They rate their general success in life significantly higher and report higher success in reaching goals in:
*Higher education and career
The Gold Award inspires girls to find the greatness inside themselves and share their ideas and passions with their communities, which can have a positive, lasting ripple effect on the world!
Erin was honored during a gala at the Convention Center downtown earlier this summer.
(WSB photo: Zach Scott signing autographs at 2011 Lafayette Elementary playground celebration)
After the Seattle Sounders FC‘s 1-0 win over Vancouver at CenturyLink Field today, fans have three more regular-season chances to cheer for the West Seattle-residing player who has announced this is his last season. 36-year-old Zach Scott plans to retire after what the team describes as “a distinguished 15-year professional career in Seattle at the USL and MLS levels, making 347 all-time appearances in a Sounders uniform, including the last eight seasons in MLS.” Scott “won seven trophies throughout his time in Seattle, including two USL league titles, four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups and the 2014 Supporters’ Shield.” In addition, the club notes that Scott “is one of three remaining original players from Sounders FC’s expansion season in 2009, and he ranks fifth in club history with 116 career regular-season appearances, starting 91.”
Scott grew up in Hawai’i and lives in West Seattle with his wife Alana and their three children. When not on the field, he’s given a lot of his time to community involvement – some of which is chronicled in WSB coverage archives, like his visits to the West Seattle Cup community soccer event in June 2014:
(June 2014 photo contributed by Steph – that’s her son Zach Arthur with Zach Scott at the West Seattle Cup)
The Sounders announcement of Scott’s upcoming retirement quotes him as saying, “The time has come for me to turn the page on my soccer career and start a new chapter of my life. When I signed with the USL Sounders in 2002, I never imagined that I would have a professional career that lasted 15 years, and it’s been a rare blessing to have played in the same city the entire time. That said, I have much more to offer in this life and I couldn’t be more excited to see what’s next. … It’s unlike me to draw individual attention to myself, and my focus for the rest of the season remains on helping my teammates and this club get to the playoffs. However, my family and I owe so much to the overall Seattle community and the organization, so we wanted to share these final weeks with everyone. I wouldn’t have wanted my career to go any other way and I couldn’t have picked a better place for us to put down roots as a family.”
The Sounders’ schedule for the rest of the season is here; the three home games are two Wednesdays (7:30 pm), September 28th vs. Chicago and October 12th vs. Houston, and one Sunday (1 pm), October 23rd vs. Salt Lake.
By Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Bad things can happen to good people.
It’s true in the case of Stephanie Endres, a Pigeon Point resident and victim of a hate crime first reported here hours after it happened – a racist, threatening note left outside her home on July 26.
With one week to go until the September 24th Hate Free Delridge event – organized as a community response to the hate crime – we sought out Endres to find out how she is doing and what she has heard about whether the crime will be solved.
Endres, 30, is a homeless-outreach case manager with the Low Income Housing Institute, in addition to running her own nonprofit organization, Stephanie’s Lifeline, which also helps people experiencing homelessness. Add to that, she just obtained her master’s degree in nonprofit management, adding to her bachelor’s degree in social work. She’s a positive force to be reckoned with, who gives and gives and gives and gives. Not to mention, the mother of two mixed-race children, and the first person in her family to reach this level of higher education.
A Seattle native, Endres and her children, Terrina, 5, and Jameson, 4, live with her father in the house she grew up in. The day she came home from work and found the note, she said it was just lying on the porch. She thought it was trash. Read More
A memorial service is planned next Tuesday for longtime West Seattleite Bob Gamrath. Here’s the remembrance his family is sharing:
Robert Gamrath passed away peacefully on September 13, 2016, at 93 years of age.
Born in Opheim, Montana, Bob grew up on the family ranch. Bob attended Opheim High School. At age 22 Bob met Mary Trichilo while he was stationed on Treasure Island in the U.S. Navy. Mary and Bob were married in 1945, came to Seattle on their honeymoon, and ended up living in West Seattle for the rest of their lives. Mary preceded Bob in passing in 1999.
Bob was the father of Sandra, Christy, Thomas, and David Gamrath – all of Seattle. Thomas preceded him in passing in 1975. Bob’s brothers Elmo, Dwight, and Jay also preceded him in passing.
Although Bob left Montana for Seattle in 1941, Bob always held Montana near in his heart, and visited often throughout the years. After completing his apprenticeship as a machinist, Bob joined the Civil Aeronautics Administration in 1947. Bob joined Boeing in 1953 in Shop Load. Bob excelled at Boeing, steadily advancing, and reached the level of Vice President, General Manager of the Fabrication Division, with responsibilities covering Boeing’s manufacturing facilities in Auburn and Seattle, WA, Portland, OR as well as in Georgia and Canada. Bob retired from Boeing in 1988.
Bob stayed active in his retirement, including volunteering in many leadership positions, including at the Italian Club of Seattle. A handyman’s handyman, Bob was highly skilled at carpentry, electrical, plumbing, machining and other skills, and spent much time in these endeavors.
Memorial services and burial will be at Forest Lawn Cemetery, 6701 30th Ave SW, on September 20, 2016 at 10:00, with a viewing beginning one hour earlier.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
While Seattle city leaders debate how to help people experiencing homelessness, King County is converting one of its buildings in White Center into an “enhanced shelter” for 70 people. From West Seattle to Burien, there’s no shelter of any kind that’s anywhere close to that size, says the county official who’s leading the project. Looking ahead to a community meeting this Thursday night in White Center, we’ve been reporting on this on partner site White Center Now. Our newest report – published early today – has full details of the county’s plan for the building at 8th SW/SW 108th – read it here.
Last weekend, we brought you the story of Ruth Parker Winquist, who as of today is West Seattle’s newest centenarian. Linda Ball, who wrote that story for WSB, was at the official birthday party today and reports that “probably 30 or so extended family members and friends (were there) honoring Ruth.” Linda’s photos also include a picture of the mayoral proclamation in honor of Ruth’s “amazing feat.” And here’s the birthday honoree with some of the partygoers:
Among those in attendance was Ruth’s daughter Sallie Morris, who arranged the party refreshments, and who also was the first person to tell us about her mom’s milestone. Happy hundredth to Ruth!
School can be tough – not just academically. Tomorrow, Elite Brazilian Jiu-jitsu of Seattle (5050 Delridge Way SW; WSB sponsor) is offering a FREE workshop on confidence-building and how to handle bullying. It’s for students 6-13, and their parents, 10 am-noon on Saturday (September 10th). Elite BJJ explains, “Most of this session will be an honest discussion about the mental preparation required to handle and defuse situations,” and parental presence is required so the info can be “reinforced and re-communicated” afterward. Go here ASAP to RSVP. Again, this is free, but if you can help, Coach Sonia Sillan reminds us that “Elite BJJ of Seattle is always in support of New Beginnings. Every event, we ask for donations (gift cards – Fred Meyer/Target/Visa; check; full-sized toiletries).”
“She’s one hell of a kid.”
That’s how Kristie Berg describes her daughter Avery, who starts middle school Wednesday at Explorer West.
The move from elementary to middle school is challenge enough for any child, any family, but things got unimaginably more complicated for the Bergs just a few weeks ago, when Avery was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
We found out about it from family friend Alana, who e-mailed WSB on Labor Day weekend.
Avery’s mom has been writing online about her family’s journey. From today’s entry: “My baby girl confidently walked into her middle school orientation this morning with half her head shaved and a pair of glasses with one eye blocked with scotch tape. She hasn’t been able to take a shower for days as she had a surgery last Friday and then ended up having an emergency shunt surgery on Sunday. And yet she still walked in with her head held high and her spirit eager and ready to embark on this adventure. I have never been so impressed with someone in my life.”
A few days earlier, Kristie wrote that she doesn’t know how the school year will go – after day two, on Thursday night, Avery is scheduled to start radiation therapy, which she will need five times a week for six weeks, in addition to six months of chemotherapy. The type of tumor she is fighting, AT/RT (Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor), is rare – 100 cases a year in the U.S., almost all diagnosed in infancy. But Avery was approaching her 11th birthday, on vacation with her family in August, when, Kristie recalls, she “casually mentioned she had been seeing double for a few weeks. And in that instant, our life changed.”
You can read all of Kristie’s updates – many with video of updates by Avery, who has a remarkable sense of humor (don’t miss the story of “Bob”) – by going here. She dubbed the updates “Step by Step with Awesome Avery,” and that’s the title of her mom’s website, too.
Kristie told us via e-mail, “These past three weeks have been unbelievably hard, but our community has been incredible. We should all be so lucky to live in a place with such supportive neighbors and friends. We’d love to extend this invitation to our entire West Seattle crew and have any attention we can brought to fighting pediatric brain tumors.”
The invitation to which she refers is an invitation to support friends and relatives’ team, Awesome Avery, for the Run of Hope coming up on September 25th to raise money for researching pediatric brain tumors. Avery’s dad Joe Berg has a fundraising page here. You can donate there and/or run by registering here.
By Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Ruth Parker Winquist doesn’t say much these days, but when she does, it’s said with a dry, quick wit. Out of nowhere, Winquist remembers “someone daring someone else to lick a cow pie.” Good fun back in the day!
It is not very often that a centenarian is in our midst. Winquist is a week away from that milestone – on Saturday, September 10th, she plans to celebrate her 100th birthday with family, at her home in Brookdale Admiral Heights, where she has lived for more than 10 years.
Winquist was born in Portland in 1916 to Charles Arthur Parker and Ella Ethelyn Gabriel. She was the middle child of three – sister Nancy, born in 1914, is gone now, but brother Ben, born in 1921, lives in Mill Valley, Calif., and talks on the phone with Ruth every Sunday. Her earliest memory is when her mother took she and Nancy to see French Marshal Ferdinand Foch in a parade after World War I. Her mother thought it was important for her daughters to see a real war hero. Read More
By Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
What started out four weeks ago with a meeting of concerned neighbors reacting to a hate crime in Pigeon Point has developed into a cohesive grass-roots group, determined to bring people together with the message of tolerance, inclusion, and community.
The core group met again, this time at Lisa Kauffman’s Puget Ridge home. Present were Rob Becker, Dave Gamrath, Stu Hennessey, Susan Lebow, Steve Richmond, and Pavan Vangipuram, all of whom have been with the group from the start (along with Rachel Glass, who was unable to attend).
Hennessey said he has spoken with the victim, Stephanie Endres. She wasn’t able to attend the meeting but said she’s aware of what’s being done by the group, called Hate-Free Delridge, as first reported here last month. Now, details for its official introduction and mission-kickoff event later this month have been firmed up: Read More
Boeing has announced the passing of a legend, Joe Sutter, 95, who also happened to be a longtime West Seattle resident. Mr. Sutter is best known as “the father of the 747,” but the message from Boeing Commercial Airplanes president/CEO Ray Conner adds that he had accomplished much more:
This morning we lost one of the giants of aerospace and a beloved member of the Boeing family. … Joe lived an amazing life and was an inspiration – not just to those of us at Boeing, but to the entire aerospace industry. He personified the ingenuity and passion for excellence that made Boeing airplanes synonymous with quality the world over.
Early in Joe’s career, he had a hand in many iconic commercial airplane projects, including the Dash 80, its cousin the 707 and the 737. But it was the 747 – the world’s first jumbo jet – that secured his place in history.
Joe led the engineering team that developed the 747 in the mid-1960s, opening up affordable international travel and helping connect the world. His team, along with thousands of other Boeing employees involved in the project, became known as the Incredibles for producing what was then the world’s largest airplane in record time – 29 months from conception to rollout. It remains a staggering achievement and a testament to Joe’s “incredible” determination.
Long after he retired, Joe remained very active within the company. He continued to serve as a consultant on the Commercial Airplanes Senior Advisory Group, and he was still a familiar sight to many of us working here. By then his hair was white and he moved a little slower, but he always had a twinkle in his eye, a sharp mind and an unwavering devotion to aerospace innovation and The Boeing Company. Fittingly, he was on hand to celebrate our centennial at the Founders Day weekend. He was one of a kind.
Joe was loved. He made a difference in the world. He made a difference to us. We will miss him and cherish our time with him.
Here’s a biographical tribute video from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, which awarded Mr. Sutter its Lifetime Achievement trophy in 2013:
He also told the story of the first jumbo jet in a book published in 2007 and titled simply “747.”
ADDED 8:26 PM: The Seattle Times has added more information to its report on Mr. Sutter’s passing, including quoting his son as saying he had a bout with pneumonia just before his death.
By Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
The fledgling group formed in response to a hate crime against a Pigeon Point family has named itself “Hate-Free Delridge” and is planning a community event.
We first reported two weeks ago about the group’s formation, in response to the racist, threatening note left on the porch of Stephanie Endres and her family last month.
The group just met for the second time. Its goal is to bring the community together while fostering acceptance, tolerance, and inclusion. Read More
Congratulations to Coach Sonia Sillan of Elite Brazilian Jiu-jitsu of Seattle (5050 Delridge Way SW; WSB sponsor) for her achievement in her first competition as a purple belt. At the recent IBJJF Seattle Open, she took third place in her division (at right in the top photo). From sister school Elite BJJ of Redmond, black belt Professor Jessica Dos Santos took second place in her division and first in open weight class – she’s in the next photo along with Elite BJJ founder/head Professor Miriam Cardoso:
Elite BJJ of Seattle is one of the local organizations and businesses you’ll see at tomorrow’s Delridge Day festival (11 am-3 pm at Delridge Community Center park) – look for their booth! (And look for one more big Delridge Day preview here on WSB – a festival co-sponsor – this afternoon.)
Story and photo by Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Motivated by last week’s hate crime against the Endres family on Pigeon Point, 10 concerned neighbors got together tonight to talk about what they could do to make the family feel safe in their community.
On Tuesday night last week, someone left a racist, threatening note on the door of the Endres home. The disturbing message made it clear that the author did not appreciate her mixed-race children.
Rachel Glass, the precinct committee officer for the area, organized tonight’s meeting at a nearby coffee shop. Read More
Another achievement for the West Seattle-residing ocean rower who holds world records including having become the first solo human-powered global circumnavigator: Erden Eruç and a rowing partner completed The Great Pacific Race, billed by its organizers as “the world’s ultimate endurance challenge.” Eruç and Louis Bird, as the Sons of the Pacific team, made the ~2,400-nautical-mile crossing from Monterey, California, to Honolulu, Hawaii in 54 days and 42 minutes, arriving last Thursday.
Eruç had joined the team days before departure, after Bird’s original partner had to drop out because of illness. The two connected after Bird met Eruç’s wife Nancy Board at a memorial service in San Francisco, and Eruç said he felt he had to fill in, “as an elder in the sport of ocean rowing.” (He celebrated his 55th birthday during the race.) Bird is the son of ocean-rowing legend Peter Bird, who set a record with 938 days of ocean rowing before being lost at sea when his son was just 4 – Eruç has come close to that with 933 days in all after this trip.
This was the second running of The Great Pacific Race; the first was in 2014, the next scheduled for 2018. This year, it had six teams of two or four rowers, all starting the journey on June 4th; Eruç and Bird were the fourth to finish (the first was a four-person crew) and the last finishers are due in Hawaii tomorrow.
(Thanks to Vlad Oustimovitch for the tip on this!)
(Animation courtesy MyPad3D)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The Urban Homestead Foundation‘s dream for the former Dakota Substation on Genesee Hill is starting to take shape and take wing.
We first reported on this back in May, when the group discussed its plan at a meeting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association.
That was five months after the City Council passed an ordinance addressing the future of local surplus ex-substations, including the one at 50th and Dakota (map), agreeing to give community members until fall of next year to buy it, before they list it on the open market.
So the Urban Homestead Foundation has a deadline. And it has a 3-D animation version of its vision for the site, produced and donated by West Seattle-headquartered MyPad3D, at the top of this story.
We sat down recently with UHF president Katie Stemp (above), under the shady trees out front of the site she and other volunteers hope to transform.
Here’s where they’re at: Read More